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"The continental hinterland consists of deserts, jungles and rainforests. It also contains lost kingdoms of Amazonian princesses, volcanoes, elephants' graveyards, lost diamond mines, strange ruins covered in hieroglyphics and hidden plateaus where the reptilian monsters of a bygone era romp and play. On any reasonable map of the area there's barely room for the trees."
The Discworld Companion on the dark continent of Klatch
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Named after The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is a geographic location that remains off all maps and unknown to the general population.

They are usually found in remote locations, such as the center of large and barely explored continents (like Darkest Africa or The Amazon), the polar ice caps, or mysterious islands. They are often home to lost civilizations with amazing Lost Technology, or to prehistoric animals that have managed to survive unchanged — aside from the fact that they suddenly find humans delicious. Some Lost Worlds are almost ludicrously dangerous and populated by fearsome monsters, and still others are Magical Lands where All Myths Are True. Prone to being destroyed by volcanic eruptions, floods, quakes, and/or bombs at the end of the book/film/series, with the protagonists barely escaping.

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Besides islands, jungles, isolated plateaus and the frozen poles of the Earth, the Lost World can exist in even more mysterious places, such as outer space, the bottom of the ocean, or deep within the planet itself. Occasionally treated more seriously, as a venue for playing with alternate evolutionary pathways.

Modern works that use this trope are usually set in a previous time, or use Applied Phlebotinum to Hand Wave how the area has remained undetected by modern technology. Examples include A Wizard Did It, or the location is contained in a Pocket Dimension.

This can happen in Real Life, when the Lost World had been isolated for millennia due to some geological feature which makes travel in and out too bothersome to attempt: the 3 miles wide crater of Mount Bosavi is a textbook case, as it had been thoroughly explored just in 2009, which ended with discovery of at least forty previously undescribed species.

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May contain a City of Gold. Overlaps with Hollow World, with the internal and external surfaces loosing knowledge of each other. City in a Bottle can happen as well, if the Lost World is cut off from the outside world.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

  • Cage of Eden takes place on an island populated with anachronistic monsters. Birds from fifty million years ago, wolves from ten thousand years ago...and of course, they all want to kill the humans.
  • One Piece has the island of Little Garden, which is full of prehistoric beasts and exotic plants. According to an entry in the in-universe book Brag Men, the island is given its name because, to the giant beasts living there, it truly is a little garden.
  • In Serendipity the Pink Dragon, the island is this to some degree; this is the reason its discovery by Smudge is so exciting to him, and so distressing to its natives.
  • In the Spider Riders franchise, a place aptly named the "Inner World" exists deep beneath the earth in a gigantic cavern filled with plants, an ocean and giant humanoid insects.

    Comic Books 
  • Atlantis from "The Atlantis Enigma" in Blake and Mortimer. An empire created before recorded history, it was destroyed (along with much of the Earth's surface) by a falling meteor and the ensuing tidal waves; the survivors eventually build a new empire in vast underground caverns under the Atlantic, which is what Blake and Mortimer discover. They've progressed to the point of becoming an Advanced Ancient Acropolis, mastering anti-gravity technology, laser weaponry, and space travel, among other things.
  • Cavewoman is supposedly set in the late Cretaceous (with the main character having arrived there by time travel) but everything can be found in the primal jungle from Stock Dinosaurs to giant snakes, hominids, yetis and... trolls. Plus, one of the issues is named "Pangaian Sea".
  • The DCU:
    • "Gorilla City", with its own phlebotinum ("invisible force fields") used to hide it, and populated by telepathic apes. It's appeared on TV in both Superfriends and Justice League.
    • "Skartaris"note  (a world located within the hollow Earth, accessible through a portal in the Arctic wilderness), which is the setting of Mike Grell's The Warlord (though other DC Universe characters would visit there from time to time as well). An episode of Justice League Unlimited is set there. It was later retconned into being Another Dimension.
    • Themyscira, also known as Paradise Island, home to Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Later retconned into being able to travel around the world and through time itself.
    • Dinosaur Island, the setting for The War That Time Forgot series. In New Frontier, Dinosaur Island turns out to be an ancient and malevolent organism called the Centre.
  • Donald Duck has used this trope so many times. Usually when Scrooge dragged Donald and his nephews along to search for treasures.
  • Franka finds one in a crater on a Phillipine island.
  • The Marvel Universe:
    • Distills this trope into a place known as the "Savage Land." It is a tropical jungle in the middle of Antarctica filled with strange creatures, prehistoric beasts, warrior tribes, incredible civilizations and other great pulpy stuff.
    • It was in fact created by aliens.
    • Marvel similarly had a dinosaur-inhabited island which Skull the Slayer tried to civilize while simultaneously fighting off an Alien Invasion.
    • This was actually Earth's distant past, accessed by a time warp created by aliens.
    • Likewise, Monster Island is the home of the Mole Man, a frequent foe of the Fantastic Four. Its location seems to fluctuate between the Bermuda Triangle and just off the coast of Japan, depending on writers' whims.
    • The Mole Man and his monsters have vast underground passageways all across the Earth. Quite possibly two Monster Islands?
  • Tintin discovered a lost pocket of the Inca civilization in Prisoners of the Sun.
  • Alan Moore had, as part of his Tom Strong series, a Wild West town set atop a large mesa. It was ripped out of time and as an intended side effect, the people could not live without some alien fruit. Tom leaves them up there on the mountain, to use them as Redshirts later on. The existence of sat-imagery is not commented upon.
  • The presence of dinosaurs alongside cavemen in Tragg and the Sky Gods is handwaved as being only an isolated pocket of ecology in the region where Tragg's tribe dwelt, and they were gone in most of the world.
  • The Turok comic book series which had a pre-Columbian Native American and his younger brother Andar who enter a lost valley and get trapped in it. They call the dinosaurs which they encounter "Honkers".

    Fan Works 
  • Hunters of Justice: Remnant is this to the rest of the universe. Not even the Guardians of Oa knew the planet existed. It's heavily implied that the Brothers shielded the planet from discovery to prevent outside interference in their test for humanity. This backfired as the shielding is what drew Brainiac to Remnant, triggering the plot.

    Films — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire has the titular Atlantis, whose core sank beneath the earth millennia ago in a last-ditch effort to save Atlantean civilization from a cataclysm they unlashed and which has lingered on to the modern day in a hidden, fertile cavern deep Beneath the Earth.
  • Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs uses one to fit dinosaurs into the post-extinction ice age: the dinosaurs survived in an underground lost world.
  • Up: Paradise Falls is a partial invocation of this trope. It's not particularly hidden, as Carl and Russell are able to find it with little more than a lot of balloons and a pocket GPS navigator.Not to mention it's Truth in Television as the falls and its location in Venezuela is an almost exact replica of Angel Falls, the highest known falls which are in... Venezuela. In addition, the tribes who live near the real Angel Falls claim there are strange creatures at the top of the tepui and therefore never go visit it. This actual legend gets a haughty reworking in the film by implying that it has remained unsettled because the Ax-Crazy Charles Muntz has been killing off any other explorers who've visited the area.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

By author:

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs created a number of Lost Worlds.
    • Caspak (aka Caprona), a Lost World within Mysterious Antarctica, the setting for the novel The Land That Time Forgot and its sequels.
    • The Lost Continent (originally known as Beyond Thirty) — the eponymous continent is Europe, in an Alternate History in which World War I never ended because eventually no organized government was left to make peace. The United States never entered the war, and in fact made laws forbidding any ship to cross certain lines of longitude (hence the original title).
    • Pellucidar, the hollow-earth dinosaur habitat, had its own series, and included a crossover with Tarzan.
    • Tarzan also stumbles across a number of Lost Worlds in Africa. These include:
      • Opar, first introduced in The Return of Tarzan (1913). This lost city is the last remnant of the world-spanning empire of Atlantis. It's especially notable because it's one of the only recurring lost cities in the series.
      • The Valley of the Holy Sepulcher, in Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1928). This valley was settled by two quarreling groups of Crusaders in the twelfth century, one of which claimed to have achieved the Holy Grail and thus the Crusade, while the other denied it. The latter group founded the city of Nimmr at one end of the valley, blocking the path of retreat to England, while the former group founded the City of the Sepulcher at the other end, blocking the route to the Middle East. The two groups have long since ceased any serious efforts to leave the valley, and have come to various accommodations with one another for their own survival.
    • While Barsoom could be considered more of a Planetary Romance setting, it is itself full of Lost Worlds, cut off from the larger Barsoomian culture. The clearest of these is the Valley Dor at the planet's south pole, featured in The Gods of Mars.

By work:

  • In Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, all the well-known mythic lost worlds, like Atlantis and Lemuria are actually just civilizations in Another Dimension, which can be sometimes perceived by all but are only accessible to certain people in certain places. Leonard and Alan travel to one such lost world, Waka Waka, which is a tropical land where a once great and cultured civilization ruled, before falling into decline, and now everyone hides in caves in the forest.
  • The Alcatraz Series of books takes this trope Up to Eleven: something like half the Earth's surface is made up of Lost Worlds called the Free Kingdoms where all sorts of magical and nonsensical things exist. They only go unnoticed because almost all the world's books, maps, and other sources of information are controlled by an ancient conspiracy of Evil Librarians who don't want you to learn the truth.
  • Jane Gaskell's Atlan series centers on the adventures of a displaced princess exploring a civilized prehistoric world "before the continents had changed." The first novel, The Serpent, is primarily a Jungle Opera; its immediate sequel, The Dragon, ends with the heroine entering Atlantis (or Atlan, as the saga calls it); the third, Atlan, picks up when she becomes empress of the continent. The fourth book, The City, is another Jungle Opera, and the final book, Some Summer Lands, explores the last days of the dying continent of Atlan. The first two novels even include a bibliography of (in some cases, discredited) research materials, primarily focusing on prehistoric life.
  • In Atlas Shrugged, Galt's Gulch is hidden within the mountains of Colorado with Applied Phlebotinum. Its use as a sanctuary for embattled egoistic industrialists has a sort of Deus ex Machina quality about it.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka discovered the Oompa-Loompa tribe that became his secret workforce in one of these, which overlaps with a Hungry Jungle. In the pre-Bowdlerised original text of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory it was somewhere in Darkest Africa (these Oompa-Loompas were specifically black pygmies), while later editions and all adaptations change it to the country of Loompaland, which even the geography teacher in the Golden Ticket tour group has never heard of.
  • The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald is all about an isolated pocket of fantastic wealth hidden in Montana. It's been successfully hidden by its wealthy, urbane, and autocratic owners for generations — but by the time of the story airplane overflight becomes a problem...
  • Dinotopia plays this trope about as straight as possible.
  • As mentioned in the quote above, Discworld is full of lost lands, mostly on the vaguely African continent of Klatch. Some of them are especially lost because they move about; these are called "brigadoons". It also had two mysterious and near-mythical continents, the Counterweight Continent and Ecksecksecksecks, both of which are now thoroughly (re)discovered (although the inhabitants might insist that they've (re)discovered the main setting of the books).
    • The Lost City of Ee has been referred to on a number of occasions throughout the series, usually as a place which some Barbarian Hero or other is either seeking or just returning from, laden with loot.
    • Parodied with the Lost Reading Room, a legendary site hidden deep within the Alien Geometries of the Unseen University Library. Student expeditions to find the place are seldom heard from again.
  • Doc Savage encountered several Lost Worlds, the most significant being the lost Mayan kingdom that provided him with the gold necessary to carry on his crusade. Several of these Lost Worlds are also Cities Of Gold.
  • Dune: The Known Universe is used by Frank Herbert to refer to the known areas of space inhabited by humans in an Absent Aliens setting. The Emperor of the Imperium holds the title of Emperor of the Known Universe, the exact extent is never explain but Herbert refers to it as a "multi-galactic empire", yet when God-Emperor Leto II sees that humanity had stagnate, he arrenges for The Scattering to happen upon his death literally making humanity go out of its comfort zone and explored the rest of the unknown universe.
  • Henders Island from Fragment plays this so literally it hurts.
  • Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth
    • Several recent authors such as James Rollins or Jeff Long have followed Verne's example, placing their modern Lost World tales underground, to justify such places having gone undiscovered.
  • Known Space: As the name implies, Known Space is a 65 light-years bubble in space surrounding Earth where the events of Larry Niven's eponymous saga occurred. The area refers only to humanity's area of known space, other more advance races have much more extended areas and some adventures happen with humans (and sometimes alien companions) venturing outside Known Space.
  • The Lost World (1912) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the Trope Namer.
  • There are two such places in Steve Alten's Meg series. The first one is the Marianas Trench, which is where the titular Megalodons are found. It's downplayed, as people already knew of its existence, it just contained a prehistoric creature or two. Playing it much more straight is the Panthalassa sea in the sequel, Hell's Aquarium. It's a primordial sea contained under a rock ceiling at the bottom of the Pacific ocean, and is home to an abundance of ancient sea creatures which have formed a comfortable food chain.
  • The underground empire of K'n-yan in Hazel Heald's short story "The Mound" (revised, if not entirely ghost-written, by H. P. Lovecraft).
  • Dime Novel hero Nick Carter runs into a lost civilization of Old Norse speaking Amazons in Bolivia.
  • In the Chinese fable The Peach Blossom Spring under the pen of Tao Qian (Tao Yuanmíng, c365-427 AD), a fisherman stumbles upon a secluded Utopian village. The friendly villagers explain that their ancestors were driven to seclusion by political strife centuries ago, and have since lost contact with the outside world. The fisherman leaves a few days later, having been requested to keep his adventure a secret. Despite having marked his way out, he never finds the place again.
  • Neverland, from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Subverted in that it's a world created by the dreams and stories of children, so only they can really visit it.
  • The Hy-yi-yi islands, home of the Snouters, are a Lost World without the ruins. Lots of goofy-looking critters, but for once they're not trying to kill you.
  • Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane encountered some of these in Darkest Africa. In particular, "The Moon of Skulls" featured a lost city that is all that remains of a once-vast empire which began as an outpost of Atlantis.
  • A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille is another early example.
  • The Tunnels series has the Garden of the Second Sun, where it is theorized that many stages of evolution missing from the fossil record took place. It's also based heavily off of Nazi theories about a hollow earth; see the entry in Mythology below.
  • In the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the Land of Oz is a remote country that's surrounded by a vast, unpassable desert, keeping it isolated from the rest of the world. Sequel novels would establish that there were several other "fairy countries" bordering Oz's desert, all located on an unnamed continent somewhere in "the Nonestic Ocean". Baum was never clear about what region of the world this was supposed to be in, though a popular fan theory places it somewhere near Australia. Anyway, one of the sequels had a magic spell make Oz and its neighbors invisible to the outside world and reachable only through magic, so this became something of a moot point.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Babylon 5 the entire Milky Way seems to be more or less known, but leaving the Milky Way or, as it's called "going over the Rim" is as mysterious as stepping into Another Dimension to the point that only the more advanced life forms (up to the level of Energy Beings) dare do it.
  • The Danger Island segment from The Banana Splits.
  • The Danger 5 episode "Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich" has Joseph Mengele performing sinister experiments in a Lost World tropical plateau in Antarctica where dinosaurs, dinosaur-men, jazz-loving ape-men, and Nubile Savage women coexist. After Danger 5 arrives there, we receive a ludicrously nonsensical explanation for how the plateau has been isolated for 65 million years.
  • The various places encountered in the Bermuda Triangle by the characters of 1977's The Fantastic Journey.
  • In Farscape the Uncharted Territories (where most of the series takes place) are mentioned as the area outside the properly explored Galaxy and are considered lawless and dangerous.
  • In Firefly the outer worlds in the edge of The 'Verse (a groups of relatively close star systems, as the show has no Faster-Than-Light Travel) are basically this. Aside from abusive warlords, oligarchs and criminals, the most dangerous thing are cannibalistic homicidal maniacs known as Reavers who are said to going mad after they went outside the Galactic rim into the "Abyss" of space. Although the truth is that they're an experiment Going Horribly Worng.
  • Karel Zeman's Journey to the Beginning of Time, a Czech film that was syndicated to American TV, most notably on Garfield Goose And Friends.
  • The Land of the Lost details the adventures of the Marshall family (father Rick and his children Will and Holly), who are trapped in an alternate universe or time warp inhabited by dinosaurs, a primate-type people called Pakuni, and aggressive humanoid/lizard creatures called Sleestak.
  • As stated above, Lost's Island would certainly fit this trope.
    • For those curious, it can't be found by normal means because it's constantly moving, possibly invisible and has a barrier around it so that if you don't go in at exactly the right bearing you'll become unstuck in time and likely die.
      • Most of the above conditions (the time warping and constantly moving parts in particular) were inadvertently caused by Ben when he jammed the donkey wheel to move the island. Before and after that event, there are other ways to get into the island, like through a submarine or helicopter. Still, regardless of the method, they all share the same problem with being impossible to enter or escape without a very specific coordinates to squeeze through the barrier.
  • In Lost in Space well, the reason they are lost is precisely because after a failed attempt by Dr. Smith to destroy the ship in a terrorist-endorsed sabotage he instead got unconscious and caused the ship to derailed (due to his extra weight) from its route out of the areas known to Earth (which are pretty small to begin with).
  • The Lost World was also adapted as an A&E miniseries, in association with the Walking with Dinosaurs guys, starring Bob Hoskins, James Fox, and Peter Falk.
  • Kinkao in Pair of Kings.
  • Sanctuary has Hollow Earth, a subterranean city with incredible technology.
    • The city of Praxis was built deep underground nearly 8000 years ago by humans and abnormals fleeing from a vampire-occupied Earth. Since then they have been steadily progressing their technology without any major wars or religious strife.
    • Unfortunately, Adam destroys Praxis by using a Time Dilation device.
  • A 1999-2002 series based on the titular story was called Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.
  • In Star Trek
  • Wherever the hell Tower Prep is. It gets sent into this territory because it is full of flora and fauna that shouldn't coexist near each other, and the constellations don't match up with anywhere in North America.

    Mythology 
  • Atlantis, the mythology of which at least predates Plato. A small continent made of seven concentric rings that allegedly sunk beneath the ocean. The Ur-example of literally countless lost, missing, or floating continents in Western culture.
  • The continent of Mu.
  • Shambala (sometimes Anglicized as Shangri-la), a retreat somewhere in the Himalayas that's supposedly home to advanced technology and many demi-gods and saints. At least in popular culture and some real-life conspiracy/cryptid-and-UFOs circles — otherwise, it is widely considered to be more like a metaphorical state of being and not a physical place.
  • Lemuria, which was believed to have existed in the middle of today's Indian Ocean, started out as a theoretical lost continent/land bridge proposed to explain why there are lemurs in Madagascar and lemur fossils in India but no lemur fossils in Africa or the Middle East (before the question was rendered moot by the development of plate tectonic theory) and eventually developed into a mythical lost continent that was home to an Atlantis-like advanced civilization before sinking beneath the waves.
  • Although currently discredited, the Hollow World theory was once quite popular. From the era of alchemy up until World War II, many people (including, famously, Nazi occultists) believed Earth was a hollow sphere with a Lost World on the inner surface. The inner world was supposedly heated by an inner sun and accessible through giant holes in the polar ice caps. This theory explained Earth's subtle magnetic changes, and the notion of holes in the polar ice caps was more plausible back when few people had visited the poles.
  • The lost oasis of Zerzura, supposedly a lush, verdant valley hidden somewhere in the Sahara.
  • The Kingdom of Prester John, a mythical Eastern Christian monarch searched for by Crusaders was said to be located somewhere in Africa or Asia and was home of not only endless riches, but also strange animals (possibly local fauna from the areas European Crusaders were unfamiliar with).

    Pinball 

    Radio 
  • A deserted island that Pip is stranded on in Bleak Expectations turns out to be one of these when the story veers from a parody of Charles Dickens through Robinsonade and winds up at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's populated by dinosaurs; the Big Bad, Mr. Gently Benevolent, turns them into an army by transplanting human brains into them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Mystara has a long history with this trope, featured in such classic adventures as "Isle of Dread" or "Night's Dark Terror". The Hollow World boxed set converted the interior of the planet into a massive Lost World a la Pellucidar, chock full of prehistoric creatures and lost civilizations.
    • Planescape: The Lost Plateau is a great pillar of stone rising in the remote depths on the Beastlands, and those who found their way to it report hearing noises and seeing shapes upon unlike anything else in the plane. The plateau's top is a wide, shallow bowl covered by thick jungle and sloping down to a lake in its center, and is home to thriving populations of dinosaurs — creatures otherwise entirely absent in the plane — and a reclusive tribe of green-furred beastmen. There's a great deal of rumor and speculation about it, including the theory that the plateau was raised by ancient powers or the plane itself to create a last haven for the vanishing creatures living there.
  • Exalted: The world is full of unexplored or once-civilized places, many enduring in isolation from the rest of Creation for long periods of time.
    • The Beast Crater is a large, extinct volcano deep in the South, kept isolated from the rest of the world by steep walls and miles of desert and warded from the Wyld by unknown forces. Its interior contains a deep lake, broad savannahs and small jungles, home to a variety of exotic wildlife including dwarf elephants and a number of large, flightless birds, some carnivorous. Beastmen also live in the crater, counting tribes of snake- and batmen in the jungles and of gazelle-, hyena- and leopardmen in the savannah, for whom the Beast Crater is the entire world.
    • When She Who Lives in Her Name destroyed ~90% of the world, bits and pieces of it were thrown back into the Wyld; theoretically an Exalt with strong Wyld resistance can journey in it find things that were lost, up to and including worlds.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition
    • The eponymous Hollow Earth is all about this trope, featuring never-ending jungle, lost civilizations, dinosaurs, and increased healing rates.
    • In the Secrets of the Surface World supplement, one of these exists on a plateau in the Amazon rain forest. A British expedition reached it, and returned without any proof of their findings but with a fortune in uncut diamonds (a Shout-Out to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Lost World). There's a hint that the plateau connects to the Hollow Earth mentioned above.
  • Lands of Mystery, a supplement for the 1980s pulp game Justice Inc., was all about gaming in a Lost World setting. About half the book was taken up with Zorandar, a setting/campaign that had everything from dinosaurs to a lost Roman colony.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Zendikar is an entire world of this, complete with mystical artifacts, hidden ruins of ancient cities and temples and horrible death at every turn for everyone from Goblins to planeswalkers. Justified in that it doubles as the Eldrazi's can.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Tolguth is a lush, jungle-filled valley deep within the icy lands of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords in the far north, kept warm by volcanic activity and full of dinosaurs.
    • The Vaults of Orv, the deepest level of the Darklands far below the surface of Golarion, consist of a series of enormous caverns, each with its own unique (and often quite hostile) environment. Unlike the rest of the underworld, they were made artificially by an advanced race far in the past to serve as arks or experiments of some sort. They’re quite varied, ranging from the nation-sized geode known as the Crystal Womb to the subterranean peaks of the Midnight Mountains to the enormous Sightless Sea. The closest match to this trope would be Deep Tolguth (once connected to the surface Tolguth by long since collapsed tunnels), a tropical cavern full of jungles and swamps home to giant insects, dinosaurs and other monsters, as well as orc and human cavemen and a city of hostile Lizard Folk. An illustration of it shows a giant Tyrannosaurus fighting a tentacled monster in the jungle.
  • Spirit of the Century readily embraces this possibility due to its strong 1920s era pulp foundation. While no such places are directly described in too much detail, it's suggested that several exist in Darkest Africa (most notably, the kinds of places where Gorilla Khan's will is law) and there's a small hint of a lead for a Game Master to potentially follow about a journey to the Earth's core being planned in the sample adventure provided in the book.

    Theatre 
  • Brigadoon has its eponymous town surrounded by a mysterious fog in the Scottish highlands. The two American hunters who stumble upon it ask why there is no Brigadoon on the map, and eventually get a good answer: the town and its inhabitants vanished in an 18th century miracle, and only reappear for one day every hundred years.

    Video Games 
  • Venturing deep into an obscure stretch of South American jungle full of weird wildlife and a long-hidden tribe is part of your objective in Amerzone.
  • Gaia's Navel in Chrono Cross is at the center of an inaccessible island (you have to be flown there). It's basically 65,000,000 B.C. from Chrono Trigger in the modern day — it even has a younger Expy of Ayla, Leah, who joins your party and is implied to be her mother.
  • The DS port of Chrono Trigger adds the Lost Sanctum, which allows a village of reptites to survive at least until the middle ages. Inside of a mountain, so it's somewhat understandable that no one can find it.
  • The Lost City of Z from Conduit 2.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest has a Lost World area that is filled with several types of fauna and it isn't found anywhere else on the island. K. Rool is found in an ancient temple of sorts and defeating him sends him flying into the center of the light the temple is radiating, causing the Lost World to implode and sink the island.
    • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! has a lost world hidden in an island that is underwater and rises when you reveal it. However, the environment is nothing more than a mountainside with barren forests and a lake.
  • Dragon Quest VIII has one where you go to the dark world.
  • EarthBound has the aptly named Lost Underworld, an enormous underground cave. Unlike other areas of the game, the camera is zoomed out and your party is dwarfed by the jungle and gigantic carnivorous dinosaurs.
  • EVE Online recently jumped on this trope with wormholes that open up into "Sleeper" space. Along with several other races they were thought to be extinct. Wild Mass Guessing ranges from time loops to returns to Earth's galaxy though they are much more advanced now. Word of God has been very silent on the matter. Also Earth itself qualifies due to the collapse of the Eve Gate.
  • Final Fantasy IX has three unexplored continents on Gaia, with only the Mist Continent being densely populated and civilised. As airships can't run without mist, and there's none on the other continents, travel to them has been rare. The Outer Continent mainly had its population wiped out in a disaster some ten years previously. The Forgotten and Lost Continents meanwhile have no settlements and are home to a few Eldritch Locations.
  • The Lost Planet series takes place on a literal Lost World, populated by giant creatures and hidden treasures.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness features one of these in the penultimate level, the aptly-named Hidden Land. The Hidden Land is so-called because it is only exists within a split second of time, meaning that time must be stopped before it can be visited.
  • Return to Mysterious Island and its sequal play this fairly straight, the second game moreso than the first.
  • Skies of Arcadia has Ixa'taka, a lost continent beyond the supposedly impassable South Ocean.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Soul Calibur III has the Lost Cathedral crosses over this trope with Eldritch Location. Its a beautifully pristine palace drawing from all forms of European architecture which can only be reached by "those with a strong will and a willingness to bet their own lives", with all characters in the arcade mode managing to reach it in the final stage of the game, where also Siegfried and Nightmare have their confrontation.
  • LaGias from the Elemental Lords portion of the Super Robot Wars mythos. Like Skartaris it's a bit inconsistent whether it's a true hollow earth or just a parallel universe that's accessible through portals hidden underground.
  • The eponymous island of Syberia is a place where mammoths still live and where they were once ridden by the Youkol tribe. It's loosely based on the real life Wrangel Island, the last place on earth to have living mammoths.
  • In the Tomb Raider series, there's Lost Valley of Peru in the first game, beneath the Great Wall of China in the second (though it consists only of two tyrannosaurs), and a particularly large one on a South Pacific island in the third.
  • The Turok FPS videogame series, which were loosely based on the comic book, although the player character is a modern day Native American who gains access to modern weapons during the course of the game.
    • See above, the player character rampages through the 'Lost World' valley (among other settings) that the original comics were set in.
  • Ultima loves this trope almost as much as DC Comics:
    • In Ultima III and VII, the legendary island of Ambrosia. Particularly odd because in the latter case it would seem to be in the way of shipping.
    • In Ultima V, a cavernous Underworld complete with shipwrecked sailor and lost expedition. In VI we learn that there's an entire civilization even deeper underground. Well, "underground" from OUR perspective. They live on the opposite side of a flat Earth.
    • Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire is set in Eoden, a copy of Doyle's Lost World complete with lost tribes, dinosaurs, and a "Dr. Livingstone, I presume" moment.
    • In Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle, Serpent Isle has been missing from the maps since the end of the first game.
  • Each of the Uncharted games has one of these. The first game has a lost spanish colony on a small pacific island, the second has Shambala in the Himalayas and the third has the "Atlantis of the Sands" in the middle of a vast, barren part of the Arabian desert. Considering the game takes place in the modern day and all are open to the sky, it's never explained why none of them have been discovered accidentally before now.
  • Virtual Boy Wario Land takes place in a vast subterranean labyrinth located underneath a tropical rainforest.
  • Although dinosaurs are not exactly unknown in the rest of the world, Un'Goro Crater of World of Warcraft has a distinct Lost World design.
    • The Sholazar Basin in Northrend also qualifies.
    • And as of Mists of Pandaria, the Isle of Giants.
  • In Xenogears, many islands and whole continents of the world are missing from maps and unknown by most of the world's inhabitants, who have actually been programmed not to notice them through an infection called -the Limiter-. After the Limiter is lifted between disc one and disc two, disc two conveniently has a much more featured world map with lands the True Companions have not yet explored. It turns out that the missing lands were places that Solaris decreed that the planet's inhabitants should forget.
    • Halfway correct. Those continents/islands aren't visible because until the middle of the game, they weren't even on the same physical plane as the landmasses that the player is exploring. After the destruction of a certain dimensional generator, the space time barrier separating those landmasses that were 'on the other side' are now accessible. Note that an individual/ships can still pass from one 'plane' to the other with the proper technology; this is offhand referenced a few times throughout the game.

    Webcomics 
  • Zeetha of Girl Genius is a native of the Lost City of Skifander. Unfortunately, she was ill during the journey from Skifander to Europa, and doesn't remember the way back, and everyone else who might have a clue seems to be dead. Sometimes at Zeetha's hands.
  • Sluggy Freelance has The Valley That Time Forgot Lost In The Center Of The Earth, which seems to be populated entirely by Mole Men and mole-man eating dinosaurs. The "center of the earth" thing is just a name, though (it's actually a few hundred miles from the earth's core), as is the "valley" part (it's technically a cavern). The "that time forgot" part is literally true, however.
    Father Time: I forget nothing! There's an occasional typographical error in temporal accounting but... Dinosaurs? Are those DINOSAURS!?! Someone get me temporal accounting! Stat!

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Dinosaur Island features in "Terror on Dinosaur Island!", "Revenge of the Reach!" and "Four Star Spectacular!".
  • Dino-Boy, aka Dino Boy in the Lost Valley, which aired along with Space Ghost. The title valley had cavemen, dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, and several lost civilizations.
  • Subverted a bit in an episode of DuckTales (1987) where the heroes find a Lost World region full of dinosaurs. However, not only do they escape it, but they have its location definitely recorded and make it an one of a kind of wildlife tourist attraction.
  • In the Futurama episode "Fun on a Bun", Fry falls into a hole in a German glacier and discovers a secret tribe of Neanderthals, along with wooly mammoths, saber-tooth tigers and giant sloths.
  • Kong Island in Kong: The Animated Series had dinosaurs, mammoths, an evil god with a harpy for a minion and the big ape himself. One of the episodes dealt with the origin of the island due to a time vortex caused by said evil god.
  • One episode of The Legend of Tarzan had Tarzan and his friends entering Pellucidar, the Lost World from Edgar Rice Burroughs's novels.
  • The Christmas Special Rudolph's Shiny New Year features a few variations of this trope in the Archipelago of Last Years. Where the old Anthropomorphic Personification of the year goes to retire, they choose an island to live in and Time Stands Still for everyone in that island. The island where One Million B.C. lives is Prehistoria of course, and a Ye Olden Days year lives on a Magical Land.
  • Superfriends (1973-74) episode "The Mysterious Moles". Deep under the earth is the Bottomless Cave: a gigantic cavern filled with plants, lakes and dinosaurs.
  • The episode "Tarzan and the Knights of Nimmr" of the 1970s Saturday morning cartoon Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle is loosely based on the book Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (the setting was largely retained, but the characters and story were replaced with original characters). The two cities were merged into the single city of Nimmr, which had just been discovered by a balloonist at the beginning of the story.
  • Downplayed in Gravity Falls where the eponymous town has a mine abandoned because miners claimed to see dinosaurs. Turns out lots of prehistoric plant and animal life have been survived in said mine, the dinosaurs at least being preserved in amber.
  • In the Fangface episode "Dinosaur Daze", an earthquake at the Grand Canyon unleashes a Tyrannosaurus rex from Beneath the Earth. Later, a professor character speculates that an entire Lost World might exist down there, where other dinosaurs might roam.

    Real Life 
  • Lost places discovered in modern days:
    • Movile cave, Dobruja, Romania. Discovered in 1986, still only partially explored.
    • Foja Mountains, Indonesian half of New Guinea island. First explored in 1979, first comprehensive research undertaken in 2005.
    • Mount Bosavi, Papua New Guinea. First explored in 2009.
    • North Sentinel Island. Though known of since the 18th century by other inhabitants of the Andaman Islands and by others since the 19th century, very little is actually known about the island and its inhabitants, the Sentinelese people, who to this day remain one of the most isolated uncontacted peoples in the world. The Sentinelese are extremely hostile to outsiders, such that the Indian government (which has de jure control of the island, though in practice they are autonomous) arrests anyone who goes anywhere near the island for their own safety. Anthropologists have never been able to travel to the island to study the Sentinelese and their culture, and probably won't anytime soon. As recently as 2018, someone who violated this ban (the American Christian missionary John Chau) was killed by the Sentinelese.
  • New Zealand. Up until about 600 years ago, it was the last major landmass on Earth still dominated by dinosaurs (albeit of the feathered variety): its largest herbivore was the 10-foot-tall flightless moa, while its top predator was the giant Haast's eagle. New Zealand is also home to real-life relics from the Mesozoic such as the Tuatara and the Pepeketua frogs. Then the Polynesians showed up, (ancestors of the modern Maori) who hunted the Haast's eagles and Mao to extinction.
  • Fittingly enough, this website promoting Jurassic Park II was still chugging along for many years, showcasing web design straight out of the age of AOL, complete with animated GIF intro page and image tile background. As of 2020 this is no longer the case, making the page “extinct”.


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